• Nadine Almer

Day 39 & 40: Perks of working and living on the Isle of Lewis

12. & 13.2.2021

Yesterday was another glorious day of work and I cannot describe how much I enjoy living right now. Literally seeing how much work you have done after one day is so satisfying, even more with Sarah as a partner (or boss more like) because she is so joyful in all she does and I feel so appreciated for my thoughts and shy attempts of proving worth as an assistant.

At first we had to clear out the shed by moving the animal food to the Caravan on the opposite side of the driveway, so that in the end the shed could be used as a chicken house. Currently it is law that you are not allowed to have your chickens out because of a disease that is spread by wild birds, meaning although Sarah and Andrew were planning on having free range chickens, until further notice their chickens will have to stay inside the chicken house with an outdoor area directly attached to it, that is covered up so that no wild bird will be able to have contact with them.

Additionally to that we cleared out the polytunnel as we plan on getting the top soil into the raised beds on Monday. Our window for doing that is not so big as the soil has to defrost during the slightly warmer temperatures of today and tomorrow but then it needs to be dry because otherwise it will be way to wet and heavy to transfer to the beds, which means by Tuesday when they have prognosed heavy rain, we need to have this job completed. We both are unsure on how much hard or easy work it will be and how long it will take us, either way, we are very seriously preparing for doing the most and best we can!

A whole day flew by with clearing the shed, preparing the polytunnel, tidying up all together around the grounds, feeding the animals and building the outside area for the chickens, which are due to arrive around the 20th of February.


We were planning on having all the garbage brought to the recycling station today but we learned that under tier 4 of the government restrictions it is not served, so we were back earlier than anticipated. Nonetheless time has been spent productively. After some lunchtime coffee I did some cleaning at the house I am staying in and returned afterwards because kind Andrew has cooked a meal for Sarah and I, which tasted just heavenly and looked like it as well. A carved out bottom half of a pumpkin with a nurturing spicy broth mix of soup in it- I loved it and it was again such a genorous and kind gesture of him cooking something for us, as it was Saturday and he had been out himself all morning but instead of resting he did provide us with a warming, wonderful, nurturing meal.

WIth the new strength we were invigorated to do some more work for Elliot's school project and went to yet another beach although the weather had already begun to change. The winds had grown and snow was falling, due to the wind it felt like pin and needles on the skin parts that were not covered by clothes!

But, oh my, how glorious it was!


The sky was not visible at first and heavy, dark grey clouds were covering every inch of it, raging waves created so much spray on the sea that it almost seemed white at least the first thirty meters from the beach. Miraculously though after just a mere twenty minutes suddenly the wind had managed to open the clear blue sky to us, just enough for gorgeous coloring and one hour of exploring as well as photographing. The ocean had turned to a turquoise were it was not clothed in heavy spray from the wild waves, while in the distance it changed to a dark blue, vanishing almost into the horizon that was gray. Up above the round hole that had opened up presenting a bright blue, in the otherwise heavy clouded sky, rays of sun shone through and gave such a strong difference to the rest of the sky, I dare say no camera lens could have really captured the beauty and grace of it.

Sometimes the waves surprised us in their intensity, coming in so quick and so far to the shore that even my high Wellie's (meaning Wellingtons, high rubber boots) were not able to keep my feet dry. For all the exploring I was blessed enough to do up until now though, I had not yet been able to explore a cave, until today because the tide was very low and exposed one to us.

Seeing such amazing colours of stones that were probably as old as our planet herself... I am at a loss of words for how it felt! And far above me, high on the ceiling, ferns and moss was growing, thriving in the moist, usually generally warm climate of the island.

Compared to every winter they have had on this island so far this one, according to Andrew, was one of the coldest they had ever lived through in their fifteen years here- so seeing iceicles and whole lochs or waterfalls frozen is an amzingly exceptional sight for the inhabitants, contrary to me as in Switzerland this is a more common sight, although I also admire the magical feeling ice tranports with absolute beauty and elegance.

By now we were all freezing so we went back to the car, defrosting. It was not long until Sarah spontaneously changed direction and instead of driving home directly, decided to show me another unfathomably fair view: a loch directly beneath a mountain where, because of the wind, waves were forming.

With so much beauty, so many pictures and frozen limbs, I was brought back home to warm up. A wonderful meal later, sitting beside the fire, reading a book about Scottish Fairytales while a storm is raging outside, I cannot imagine to feel more gratitude towards life and the kindness and generosity I get to receive everyday!

Thank you Sarah and Andrew, thank you Isle of Lewis, thank you life!


Love and light, beloved souls!

Nadine

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